A statue honoring the late Breonna Taylor in downtown Oakland has allegedly been vandalized just days after it was installed.
Over the weekend, Amir Aziz, a photo and visual journalist at The Oaklandside, posted shocking pictures of the ceramic bust in pieces.
The work of art, featuring Taylor’s face, also had a plaque that read, “Say Her Name Breonna Taylor.”
“On Monday, December 21st there was a newly erected #SayHerName bust of Breonna Taylor in Downtown Oakland,” Aziz wrote. “Today, the day after Christmas, it’s now destroyed.”
On Monday, December 21st there was a newly erected #SayHerName bust of Breonna Taylor in Downtown Oakland.— Amir Aziz (@aziaticblack) December 26, 2020
Today, the day after Christmas, it’s now destroyed.
Credit for the art is listed as Leo Carson / leo_carson_art on Instagram pic.twitter.com/jwu2H5A65s
That day, Leo Carson, the artist of the sculpture, denounced the alleged attack as “an act of racist aggression.”
“This vandalism is an act of racist aggression, and it shows why sculpture and art matters,” he told multiple outlets. “I made this sculpture to support the Black Lives Matter movement and while I’m overcome with rage and sadness at their cowardly act, their vandalism will make her even more potent.”
He also told ABC7 on Sunday that “at first I was stunned and shocked and hurt and angry,” when he heard about the destruction.
“Just a whole flood of emotions,” Carson said. “It felt like I was personally attacked and also they attacked Breonna Taylor and the BLM movement.”
Following the incident, Carson created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the sculpture’s repair.
“After spending months creating this artwork it was incredible to see the community and neighbors taking photos and enjoying it. Now I am devastated and enraged to see it in pieces,” Carson wrote.
“Several people have reached out asking about how they can help with the repairs. The best way to prevent further damage would be to rebuild her in bronze. As an unemployed server this isn’t something I can afford to do on my own. The bronze casting process will take months to complete and the base will also have to be reconstructed to support the additional weight.”
Carson notes that the remaining funds will be donated to Taylor’s family.
As of this writing, the page has raised $6,910 — nearly $1K over its $5K goal.
According to KQED, the Oakland Police Department is “aware of the incident regarding the vandalism of a bust honoring Breonna Taylor.” A police report has been filed and the incident is under investigation.
However, it is currently unclear how the bust was broken.
On March 13, Taylor was killed after the Louisville Metro Police Department entered her apartment and executed a search warrant in a drug case connected to Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.
At a press conference in September, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Detective Myles Cosgrove “fired the fatal shot” that killed Taylor, citing FBI ballistics analysis.
While no murder charges were filed in Taylor’s killing, Detective Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into a nearby apartment.